Klinghoffer and the Peasants’ Revolt

There’s an extremely tangled, virtually incoherent post at the Discovery Institute’s creationist blog today: Is Intelligent Design a Peasants’ Revolt? It was written by David Klinghoffer, a Discoveroid “senior fellow” (i.e., flaming, full-blown creationist), who eagerly functions as their journalistic slasher and poo flinger.

It references a dozen articles from various websites, all of which we’ll ignore. A quick answer to Klinghoffer’s title question would be: “Intelligent design is a theocratic propaganda campaign crafted to appeal to creationists, but it isn’t much of a revolt.” We described it in Intelligent Design, the Great Incongruity, where we said:

How does ID differ from that good old fashioned, down-home, foot-stompin’, psalm-singin’, floor-rollin’, rafter-shakin’, old-time creationism? Traditional creationism is openly and honestly religious, while ID is the Discoveroids’ “Don’t ask, don’t tell” version of creationism. ID creationists have repackaged their dogma into an ostensibly secular concept which they claim is a scientific theory. Despite ID’s complete lack of any scientific attributes, it is promoted as a scientific alternative to Darwin’s theory of evolution. But it’s a flimsy disguise — a reversible coat with meaningless science jargon on the outside and miracles on the inside — a garment made for flashers.

In his latest post, Klinghoffer doesn’t even try to describe the Discoveroids’ “theory.” Instead he attempts to tie it into the US Presidential campaign — where creationism hasn’t even been mentioned. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

When I was a high school debater back in the Reagan era, scaremongering about nuclear war was omnipresent. Facing off, debate teams had a habit, which became a joke, of arguing that any policy favored by their opponents would result in an exchange of warheads with the USSR. Even something as innocuous as to support, or oppose, a law requiring automobile airbags could be wrestled into a threat of annihilation.

Where is Klinghoffer going with that strange beginning? We shall soon see. He says:

It goes beyond high school. In countering an idea you really don’t like, the temptation is to try to drop a nuclear bomb on it. Not only is the idea misconceived, you say, it is so dangerous that it will lead to national catastrophe.

Ah, so he’s going to accuse us of that kind of tactic. Well, it’s true that if the Discoveroids were ever to succeed in implementing their Wedge strategy, the result would indeed be catastrophic. Let’s read on:

The media’s enforcers of orthodoxy in opinions pertaining to science really, really despise skeptics on evolution and climate control, those advocates of “anti-science.” I should have seen it coming, then, that they would eventually reach for the political season’s populist warhead: Donald Trump.

What? Has Trump even offered an opinion on evolution? Not that I’m aware. So far, his views on climate change haven’t played a very prominent a role either, though that could change.

What does Trump’s candidacy have to do with intelligent design? Klinghoffer continues:

Or is “anti-science” the bomb, maybe, and Trump the target? Either way, writers at [two liberal websites] have tried to link the two, arguing that public skepticism on sensitive scientific matters is so dire a threat that it even played a role in summoning the peasant scourge, Trump.

Then he quotes from one of those websites:

[Purported quote:] The anti-intellectualism that has been a mainstay of the conservative movement for decades also makes its members easy marks. After all, if you are taught to believe that the reigning scientific consensuses on evolution and climate change are lies, then you will lack the elementary logical skills that will set your alarm bells ringing when you hear a flim-flam artist like Trump. The Republican “war on science” is also a war on the intellectual habits needed to detect lies.

Okay, we get it. Some pundit is saying that: (1) Trump’s campaign appeals only to idiots; (2) all the anti-science idiots are Republicans: and therefore (3) all the creationists will vote for Trump. That does seem a bit extreme, because we know there are creationists in both parties, and to that extent Klinghoffer may have a point. But we don’t see how any of this makes intelligent design more than what it is — a creationist crusade.

Then he links to several articles saying that Democrats also have problems with science. That’s a point we’ve made a few times before — see, for example: Is Your Political Party Really Pro-Science? But none of that has anything to do with the scientific validity of the Discoveroids’ “theory” of intelligent design. Here’s more from Klinghoffer:

That aside, [two authors he mentioned] raise an interesting question about populism and the variety of skepticism on science that we know best here, intelligent design. No peasants’ revolt, surely, ID nevertheless embraces intuition as a scientific tool in a way that infuriates Darwinists.

Intuition? BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Yes, feelings are a vital part of the creationists search for The Truth.

Klinghoffer then mentions “a new survey showing massive popular (and non-partisan) support for academic freedom in teaching and research about ID,” about which we wrote Discoveroid “Poll” Favors Teaching Nonsense, and he quotes Discoveroid Doug Axe who says:

The question of our origin is far too important to be left to professional scientists.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! That reminds us of the infamous creationist dentist, Don McLeroy, who, as Chairman of the Texas State Board of Education, declared: “Someone has to stand up to these experts!” Then Klinghoffer give us yet another quote:

Bestselling novelist Dean Koontz in his dust-jack blurb echoes Axe’s phrase, “common science”: “Axe uses ‘common science’ to consider the biggest mystery: To what or to whom do we owe our existence?”

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Who’s leading a peasant’s revolt? Moving along:

ID may validate intuition, but it does so on scientific grounds. The soundest rebuke to the charge of “anti-intellectualism” — from design advocates or other skeptics on Darwinian theory — may be from the words of our own critics. Darwinists have a morbid fear, a terrible allergy to directly confronting arguments for ID.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! We’re afraid! Then he complains that the Discoveroids’ critics won’t even read Discoveroid books. Imagine that! At the end he says:

The question of what really drives Trump supporters has launched countless op-eds, blog posts, and think pieces. I leave the subject to others. But to imagine that skepticism on evolution is driven by “anti-intellectualism” is the most absurd criticism I’ve heard in a while.

Well, dear reader. We warned you that Klinghoffer had written an extremely tangled, virtually incoherent post. Were we wrong?

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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19 responses to “Klinghoffer and the Peasants’ Revolt

  1. “…ID is the Discoveroids’ “Don’t ask, don’t tell” version of creationism.” I’ve read ID described as “Creationism in a push-up bra.”

  2. michaelfugate

    Darwinists have a morbid fear, a terrible allergy to directly confronting arguments for ID.

    This is just nonsense on stilts. Every DI book has been critiqued by scientists, just type “response to Darwin’s Doubt” into your favorite search engine, such that Meyer has “responded” to his critics.

  3. Eric Lipps

    “I believe the word you’re looking for is: AAAAAAAAAAA!”

    Klinghoffer seems to be reaching blindly in all directions, linking 1980s-era “scaremongering” about nuclear weapons (now why would anyone sensible be scared of those?) to opposition to creationism and thence, somehow, to Donald Trump.

    But perhaps he’s not reaching blindly after all. I remember the eighties too, when we had a president who during his 1980 favored teaching creationism in public schools and who apparently believed that Armageddon was nigh and had the authority bring about a nuclear version of it at will, and who had fundamentalist supporters eager for him to do just that so that Jesus could come again.

    As for Donald Trump, one pales at the thought of his finger on the button, given his apparent eagerness to pick fights with, well, just about everyone from news correspondents all the way up to foreign countries and an entire major religion. Nor should his not having taken a public position on creationism be cause for relief; he has shown himself willing to trawl the sewers for support, so why should he hesitate to pander to creationists, who potentially could provide him with millions of votes?

  4. It’s nice to see Klink now likes majority opinion, when science has a majority opinion against Klink, he hates it and that it can’t be trusted, but now Klink trusts majority opinions. It’s a good thing Klink never said anything against majority opinions or this would seem downright hypocritical.

  5. All of the “arguments for ID” are variations on “something, somehow is wrong with evolutionary biology, therefore ID”. Typical is the use of the ancient argument for god(s), the analogy of design. (Let it be noted that the existence of god(s) does not provide an alternative to evolutionary accounts for the variety of life, whatever one thinks of the analogy.)

    The only approaches to defining or describing ID are variations on “there’s got to be something better than evolutionary biology”.

    What deep analysis does ID need to see that it is vacuous?

  6. michaelfugate

    aargh – o’ great and mighty Hand we beseech thee;
    spellcheck has changed “populum” to “populous”….

    [*Voice from above*] I stretched forth my mighty hand, and lo — it is done!

  7. docbill1351

    Alas, poor Klorikyorik, I knew him not at all. Who?

    The ‘Roids aren’t ignored so much as unknown. Aside from this esteemed motley crew the Toot is what it is: a dingy office above a gym in Seattle, full of kooks, cranks, failures and social misfits.

    Twenty years of whining and nothing to show for it.

  8. His trick is simply an attempt to discredit scientists. His argument doesn’t rely on science, only opinion, and people make decisions based on opinion, and good arguments often win over people whether they are true or not. It’s the same tactic deniers use regarding climate change and other areas of science where people are persuaded by opinion articles, fudging and distorting facts, printing books and papers in press releases and in the public domain rather than peer reviewed journals, which are beyond the average reader anyway. Klingy is trying to persuade his general audience who lack little if any understanding of science and he plays on their emotions and opinions to win his case.

  9. Mike McCants

    Here is a URL to one article:

    https://newrepublic.com/article/134667/conservatives-groomed-perfect-suckers-trumps-epic-scam

    “Not so long ago, in the days before Marco Rubio endorsed Trump, the Florida senator called him a “con artist.” It’s hard to imagine how anyone could dispute Rubio’s evaluation.”

  10. “Axe uses ‘common science’ to consider”
    This reminds me of one of the less fortunate periods in Germany history, when its legal system was founded on Gesundes Volksempfinden – sound common sense of the people.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roland_Freisler

  11. Lest we forget Axe’s axiom: I think it’s true, therefore it must be true. It’s intuition all the way.

  12. “ID may validate intuition, but it does so on scientific grounds.”

    In a dearth of scientific data, my intuition is that Sol orbits Earth. I can look to Gerardus Bouw for the “scientific grounds.”

  13. The question of our origin is far too important to be left to professional scientists.

    Instead, Kling argues, the question should be opened up to non-scientists such as those at the DI, and ID proponents in general.

    It seems more and more that the DI is giving up on their campaign to make ID seem like a science. They are writing about the validity of intuition as a source of knowledge. They throw temper tantrums about not being able to distribute materials at a Methodist convention. The argue against evolution based on perceived moral effects. (okay, they’ve always done that)

    They should be operating out of a church basement somewhere.

  14. Our docbill1351 doth protest too much, methinks:

    Twenty years of whining and nothing to show for it.

    But au contraire, mon ami!: two decades of unadulterated Comedy Gold is a magnificent achievement!

    Though I will own that, in the wake of dear Gerb’s departure, the Disco-Tute has lost form, at least for the nonce, and no longer reaches all the way down to the full bathetic trough (a veritable Marianas Trench of Lunacy) of their Golden Era.

    But have faith, m’boy: The Mouse will rise again!

  15. docbill1351

    The Mouse will rise again!

    Staring C. Luskin as Muad D’oh!

    Klappertrapper as Worm.

    S. Meyer as Who Kares.

    A. Gauger as Baron Green Screen.

    LUNE – The planet where the Universe gets its [edited out]!

  16. Klinghoffer wanders down Memory Lane:

    When I was a high school debater back in the Reagan era

    But he didn’t have to wander very far. He’s still a high school debater back in the Reagan era.

  17. After a quick peek at Kafloopledoopers latest , frankly, I ‘m stunned at how anyone who is so incredibly hosed intellectually manages to fill out a drivers license application or a tax return. Klinkledooper must be a really dangerous driver , as his mind is so beset with the endless gerbil circle he runs in.
    On behalf of Curmudgeon loyalists, I’d like to nominate Klippledinkwad as
    our new honorary gerbil. Casey’s gone, but Kloppooper has definitely earned the moniker.His posts are gross but we should all look past that and treat him
    as the humorous clown he or it, is. What say you Curmudgeon devotees? Can I have a second to a nomination for Klinklplop as our new gerbil please?
    Gerbil slashers are pretty fun to have around.

  18. och will blasphemes outrageously:

    What say you Curmudgeon devotees? Can I have a second to a nomination for Klinklplop as our new gerbil please?

    Sorry, but I have to say here: “I observed The Gerbil. I spewed while reading The Gerbil. The Gerbil was a fiend of mind. Klinghoffer, you’re no Gerbil.”

    Yes, yes, Klingy is lots of fun, but Luskin was in a clueless class all his own. The very mould/mold of gerbilosity was broken once he had been forged, there can never be another. It would be like trying to vote in a new Elvis! There was only One; accept no substitutes!

    And while we have all mourned his passing, let us not abandon all hope. For who can truly say that Luskin is not a miraculous gerb quondam, gerbque futurus who may yet return to us, even at our darkest hour?